Intel Does Not Consider ARM Support by Windows 8 a Threat

Intel: Windows 8 Is an Opportunity

by Anton Shilov
01/06/2011 | 11:32 PM

Intel Corp. does not consider support of ARM-architecture microprocessor by Windows 8 a threat. Instead, the company believes that Windows 8 will allow the company to capture new markets, such as tablets.


"The Windows CE today, the Windows phone applications today all run on ARM and only on ARM, so what they are saying is for the tablet version and the phone version they are going to support ARM for Windows 8. What I am excited about is that Windows 8 will also support Intel down into the other devices. Today we do not have an opportunity to sell into Microsoft-based phones and Microsoft-based tablets," said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel, in an interview with Fox Business Network.

Historically, Intel's x86 microprocessors were not as economical as ARM-architecture processors, which power 98% of mobile phones today. Nowadays ARM-based processors are gaining performance and power personal computers in slate form-factor, whereas Intel's chips are becoming more power efficient and can also power tablet PCs. However, Intel needs Windows operating system to justify usage of x86 chips inside slates.

An obvious problem for Intel going forward is ability of developers of ARM to design high-performance chips that could power notebooks or desktops, Intel's main strongholds. As a result, Intel will have to ensure that its processors offer overwhelming advantages over any possible ARM processors. But while Intel can enable extreme performance, actual user comfort is provided by Windows operating system. Therefore, eventually both AMD and Intel will have to ensure that there is software that runs exclusively on x86 microprocessors.

It remains to be seen whether x86-exclusive mass software will emerge. In the meantime, it is clear that market realities for AMD and Intel have shifted dramatically with ARM-enabled Windows operating system.